Supporting hunger relief efforts is a philanthropic focus area for us at WhiteWave. We’re passionate about ensuring access to better-for-you foods, including in Colorado where we’re headquartered.
Taking this to heart, we spread a little extra love yesterday on Valentine’s Day. Our very own WhiteWave team member Jessica Sibila helped to host a mobile food pantry where all five Feeding Colorado food banks teamed up to provide those in need with nutritious food options.
The mobile pantry featured healthy items like potatoes, cereal, bread, apples and soup. For our part, we provided gallons of Horizon Organic milk and some of our shelf-stable Silk Almondmilk.
In just one day, we helped serve 146 households with 46 seniors, 88 children and 309 adults. In addition to feeding hundreds, the mobile food panty was strategically positioned in front of the Colorado State Capitol to engage state legislators with the goal of raising awareness around Feeding Colorado and the collective impact we all make in hunger relief.
If you would like to help support a local food bank near you, Feeding America has some great suggestions for how to get involved.
As a food company, we have a responsibility – to consumers, the planet, and future generations – to protect our natural resources in the face of climate change and growing environmental pressures like water scarcity.
In our CSR Report and video, we discussed Cultivating a Responsible Food System and how water use is a key metric as a pillar of our overall Sustainability Strategy. High-quality freshwater is a critical element of cultivating crops, as an ingredient in our products, and as a component in our manufacturing process. We also know that because water is a finite natural resource – with nearly 90% of all consumed freshwater being used to grow food – the choices we make can have a big impact on the global water supply.
That’s why we’ve expanded our commitment to responsible agricultural water use through a new partnership – the Ag Water Challenge, a collaborative initiative organized by nonprofit organizations Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). As part of the Challenge, we’ve worked with Ceres and WWF to assess our water risks in agricultural supply chains and set new commitments in water stewardship.
These commitments include:
• Developing a road map to agricultural water stewardship that addresses shared water challenges facing our key commodities (dairy, soy, almond and produce, specifically) in areas of greatest risk; and
• Engaging in policy advocacy to strengthen water management in our priority sourcing regions, including the Colorado River system and California.
And while we’ve already made great progress in reducing water use in our facilities and across our supply chain, the AgWater Challenge is an important way to continue these efforts and further influence global agricultural water use beyond our own four walls.
At WhiteWave, we have always been committed to reducing our environmental impact. In fact, “Integrity to Produce Food Responsibly” is one of our six core values. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one way we strive to make good on this value.
We believe taking action to help curtail our greenhouse gas emissions is simply the right thing to do as a responsible corporate citizen. Specifically, we have committed to reducing our greenhouse gas intensity 20 percent by 2025, using 2013 as the baseline. And it’s not just taking action that’s important to us. It’s also about sharing information, being honest and transparent in how we’re reducing impact.
It’s commitments like these that helped us earn a top position within the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), which scores and ranks companies based on the level of transparency in disclosing carbon emissions and energy data. In 2016, we received a rating of an A- based on our level of disclosure. Our scores reflect WhiteWave’s transparency in the sharing of climate change-related information, allowing people to assess corporate accountability and preparedness for changing market demands and emissions regulations.
Climate change is a daunting challenge facing our food system. However, we believe we can make a meaningful impact by having a clear, measurable strategy to address our greenhouse gas emissions. And, while our CDLI score is something we’re proud of, we know there’s much more to be done. It’s not only in our best interest to actively manage our environmental footprint, but also in the best interest of our planet.
If you would like to learn more about our environmental stewardship efforts, we welcome you to check out our latest corporate social responsibility report: http://www.whitewave.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/WhiteWave-CSR-2014_2015-Full-Report.pdf.
Entering a new year is a great time to pause for reflection on the past year, and look ahead toward opportunities to grow, learn and advance our mission and values in the months ahead. Our mission of “changing the way the world eats for the better,” coupled with our six core values, helps us to focus on doing work that makes a true impact in our communities and the world around us.
Looking to 2017, a time of exciting change for our company, we thought it was fitting to revisit our values. These values are simple, but deeply held, beliefs that were created by our employees. They define who we are, how we act and what is most important to us as an organization:
- Integrity to Produce Food Responsibly: Producing food responsibly means making better choices, even when people aren’t watching.
- Informality to Enjoy Our Work Together: No matter how much we grow or change, we must remember that this is a place where our doors are always open.
- Share What We Do Well: WhiteWave is committed to the environment and our communities. We must find new, innovative ways to use our company’s core skills to make an even bigger difference.
- Individuals Matter: We come to WhiteWave for the same reason – to personally make a difference in the future of this company.
- Passion to Lead: Each and every one of us must come to work every day with the simple goal of doing better than we did the day before.
- Courage to Learn and Grow: In a constantly changing world, we must bring a healthy ambition to our work, be nimble, adaptive, and always learning.
These values came to life in a variety of ways throughout 2016. Here are just a few examples:
Our value of “Share What We Do Well” is best exemplified in Share What We Do Well Month, a company-wide celebration of community giving. During SWWDWM each October, WhiteWave employees are given time-off to volunteer with non-profits in their communities. In 2016, 92 percent of North American WhiteWave employees participated in SWWDWM, supporting a variety of issues and causes in their communities. In total, more than 67 nonprofits in 26 locations across North America and Canada were supported by WhiteWave volunteers.
- The growth of our Employee Resource Groups during the past 12 months speaks to our value of “Individuals Matter.” These employee-powered groups focus on a variety of topics and issues, helping us to further embrace the power of individuals to make a difference in our company.
- This year, we also celebrated the launch of our most recent Corporate Social Responsibility report, which demonstrates the many ways we work to showcase our value of “Integrity to Produce Food Responsibly.” For example, in 2016 we fulfilled our promise to source 100 percent of the cocoa powder used to produce our North American brands. Additionally, we’ve grown in our progress towards positive environmental impacts, including seeing 78 percent of our total waste in 2015 diverted to composting, recycling or land-use applications.
These values will continue to serve as our guiding light in 2017 as we work together to make better food for a better world and a better future